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Books for Adults

What I’m Reading (in August 2015)

August is officially here!  Only one more month until both of my munchkins start school on September 1st.  What a bittersweet day that will be for me…sigh!  They are seriously getting too big, too fast.

Below are the books I’ve chosen for the month of August.  Enjoy!

Praying Upside Down: A Creative Prayer Experience to Transform Your Time with God by Kelly O’Dell Stanley

When you talk to God, do you ever wonder if He really hears? Do your prayers start to feel rote or routine? Do you sometimes feel you don’t even know how to pray? Jesus is known for turning situations upside down . . . and He can do the same in your prayer life.

A Curious Mind: The Secret to a Bigger Life by Brian Grazer

When this book recommendation appeared in my e-mail inbox earlier this week I just knew I had to get it!  Oprah’s best friend, Gayle King, raved about this book so I want to check it out for myself.

A Curious Mind is a brilliantly entertaining, fascinating, and inspiring homage to the power of inquisitiveness and the ways in which it deepens and improves us. Whether you’re looking to improve your management style at work or you want to become a better romantic partner, this book—and its lessons on the power of curiosity—can change your life.

The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty


I read the book Big Little Lies in July and it was AMAZING!  If you haven’t read it yet, you totally should!  I enjoy this author’s writing style so much that I had to follow up with another one of her books for August.

Imagine your husband wrote you a letter, to be opened after his death. Imagine, too, that the letter contains his deepest, darkest secret—something with the potential to destroy not only the life you have built together, but the lives of others as well. And then imagine that you stumble across that letter while your husband is still very much alive.

Cecilia Fitzpatrick has achieved it all—she’s an incredibly successful businesswoman, a pillar of her small community, a devoted wife and mother. Her life is as orderly and spotless as her home. But that letter is about to change everything—and not just for her. There are other women who barely know Cecilia—or each other—but they, too, are about to feel the earth-shattering repercussions of her husband’s secret.

No-Drama Discipline: The Whole-Brain Way to Calm the Chaos and Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind by Daniel J. Siegel


The pioneering experts behind The Whole-Brain Child—Tina Payne Bryson and Daniel J. Siegel, the author of Brainstorm—now explore the ultimate child-raising challenge: discipline. Highlighting the fascinating link between a child’s neurological development and the way a parent reacts to misbehavior, No-Drama Discipline provides an effective, compassionate road map for dealing with tantrums, tensions, and tears—without causing a scene.

Your turn:  Have you read any of these books?  What’s in your reading stack for the month of August?  Feel free to share in the comments.

Books for Adults

What I’m Reading (in July 2015)

Summer is officially here and I couldn’t be happier.  I’m looking forward to days of warm weather, long, lazy afternoons and gentle breezes with lots of sunshine.

Welcome summer, I’m so happy you’re here.  Let the summer of reading commence!

Below are the three books I plan to read in July.

Status: Finished


This book has been on my list of books to read since it came out earlier this year.  I’m a huge fan of Issa Rae.  I used to watch The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl web series on YouTube religiously in its early days.  I am excited to read her memoir and learn more about how she got her start especially now since she recently had the opportunity to meet my role model, Oprah.  I love to read about successful, empowered women.


Status:  Finished


When she discovered ballet, Misty was living in a shabby motel room, struggling with her five siblings for a place to sleep on the floor. A true prodigy, she was dancing en pointe within three months of taking her first dance class and performing professionally in just over a year: a feat unheard of for any classical dancer. But when Misty became caught between the control and comfort she found in the world of ballet and the harsh realities of her own life (culminating in a highly publicized custody battle), she had to choose to embrace both her identity and her dreams, and find the courage to be one of a kind.

Life in Motion is an insider’s look at the cutthroat world of professional ballet, as well as a moving story of passion and grace for anyone who has dared to dream of a different life.

Status:  Finished

Big Little Lies by Lane Moriarty

Big Little Lies follows three women, each at a crossroads:

Madeline is a force to be reckoned with. She’s funny and biting, passionate, she remembers everything and forgives no one. Her ex-husband and his yogi new wife have moved into her beloved beachside community, and their daughter is in the same kindergarten class as Madeline’s youngest (how is this possible?). And to top it all off, Madeline’s teenage daughter seems to be choosing Madeline’s ex-husband over her. (How. Is. This. Possible?).

Celeste is the kind of beautiful woman who makes the world stop and stare. While she may seem a bit flustered at times, who wouldn’t be, with those rambunctious twin boys? Now that the boys are starting school, Celeste and her husband look set to become the king and queen of the school parent body. But royalty often comes at a price, and Celeste is grappling with how much more she is willing to pay.

New to town, single mom Jane is so young that another mother mistakes her for the nanny. Jane is sad beyond her years and harbors secret doubts about her son. But why? While Madeline and Celeste soon take Jane under their wing, none of them realizes how the arrival of Jane and her inscrutable little boy will affect them all.

Your turn:  What books do you have in your queue for the month of July?  Have you read any of these books already?  Feel free to let me know in the comments.
read aloud

What the Kids are Reading (in June 2015)

by Ylleya Fields
Princess Cupcake Jones has lost her beloved tutu.  In her quest to find it, Cupcake learns the importance of tidying up and putting things in their proper place.  As an added bonus in each book of the series, children will also have fun finding the hidden word in each inviting illustration. Helpful hints are a part of the book’s website, which also features downloadable color pages and other activities. 

by Gayle E. Pitman
With short rhyming text, and fun colorful illustrations, This Day in June gives preschool and early elementary aged children and their favorite grown up a chance to experience an LGBT Pride Parade from the comfort of their own couch! Filled with balloons, children, happy marching people, dogs, motorcycles, fancy clothes, rainbows, and confetti, this book is a joyful celebration of a Pride parade, traditionally held during the month of June.  Written by a professor of psychology and women’s studies, this book also has carefully researched end pages which explain the history and significance of the words and pictures on each page, as well as recommendations for parents on ways to talk to different ages of children (3-5, 6-12, 13-18) about what it means to be LGBT, and how to answer children’s questions in age appropriate ways.
by Emily Jenkins
What a great non-fiction read aloud book!  This book follows the making of a dessert, blackberry fool, over four centuries–the 1700s, 1800s, 1900s, and 2000s.  In this fascinating picture book, four families, in four different cities, over four centuries, make the same delicious dessert: blackberry fool. This richly detailed book ingeniously shows how food, technology, and even families have changed throughout American history.  Bonus: a recipe for blackberry fool is included if you want to make it with your little ones.
by Debbie Ridpath Ohi
Spencer loves to read. He reads a book every night. But one morning his favorite book goes missing, and in its place is a tulip. Spencer searches high and low, but he can’t find his book.  The next morning another book is missing, a nut in its place. And the morning after that, another book is missing.  What is happening to Spencer’s books? When he finds out, Spencer devises a surprising solution that will delight readers everywhere.
by Tatayna Feeney
Small Elephant’s mommy tries to make the bath more fun with toys and bubbles, but he is not fooled.  He is too busy to take a bath. He has said no many times. He is getting very cross.  And then he disappears!  But Small Elephant’s daddy has a way to make the bath fun. He may look silly doing it—but it just might work!  This is a great book for dads to read to the kids in celebration of Father’s Day this month. 

by Britta Teckentrup
A fun lift-the-flap book that introduces young readers to the basic concepts of counting and patterns. Each is a boisterous, vivid trek of discovery, providing irresistible clues which encourage lifting the flap to see what’s coming up next.
by Alison Inches
What’s a girl to do when her stuffed animals just aren’t sleepy? The little red hen is fixing herself a snack, the monkey’s doing cartwheels, and the cow appears to be singing karaoke. It’s a good thing this little mommy has a few tricks up her sleeve. With a bit of persistence and a lot of tender loving care, she’ll get her babies bathed, read to, and snuggled . . . just in time for bed.
by Edward Gibbs
Look through the holes to see what pets you can spy in this fun interactive book.
Smooth or furry, shiny or fluffy, there are many pets to spot in this fun take on the “I spy” game. Look through the spy holes and use the texture clues to guess; then turn the page to reveal the animal.  This book is part of the “I Spy Series” written by the same author.
by Craig Fraizer
Bee & Bird is a charming wordless story illustrated by the iconic artist Craig Frazier. With bold colors and graphic lines Frazier shows us the adventures of a little red bird and a buzzing bee as they journey from Bird’s home in a tree to Bee’s hive. The illustrations use interesting plays on perspective to draw in the viewer. This book may be especially enjoyed by little ones who does not always have the patience to listen to a story. The vibrant illustrations will be sure to interest even the most distracted reader.
Just the Two of Us
by Will Smith
Will Smith— musician, actor, and father–brings us a moving celebration of fatherhood. Smith’s heartfelt lyrics and Kadir Nelson’s vibrant paintings capture the beauty and intensity of a father’s love as his child grows from a boy into a man.
Bustle in the Bushes
by Giles Andreae
Giles Andreae is quickly becoming one of my favorite children’s authors.  We loved the book Rumble in the Jungle and this one is great too.  This book contains an energetic collection of poems that introduces fifteen amazing insects. Vibrantly illustrated, each humorous verse features a different insect and also includes an interesting fact about them.  A great book to read during the spring and summer to explore bugs in your own backyard.The Whole Night Through: A Lullaby
by David Frampton

I just love when I find a fun bedtime story to read to the kids right before bed.  Every animal in the jungle has closed its eyes for the night-everyone except the leopard. He is determined to stay awake the whole night through, but suddenly, wink…blink…yawn…yawn…shushhhhhhhhhh .  David Frampton has created a charming lullaby for tiny children who try very hard every night to stay awake, Rhythmic text and beautiful woodcuts of jungle animals combine to make a perfect book to share at bedtime.

by Josie Bissett
A loveable monster with big puffy mitts has just flown in from Planet Tickle. His mission is to bring joy and laughter to Planet Earth. How? By tickling any child who happens to follow along in this book. Parents read aloud and do the tickling, while their children squirm and giggle with delight.  My little man, Mr. Tickles adores this book!


by Harriet Ziefert
Whether you are a person or a bear, sometimes it is hard to decide what clothing to wear when you get up in the morning. In Bear Gets Dressed: A Guessing Game Story, Bear must decide what to wear before he goes out to enjoy the day. Poor Bear knows that sometimes the weather can make one outfit better than another. However, he just isn’t sure what to wear. Each page features a simple lift-the-flap that asks the reader to pick the best outfit for Bear. Once the reader picks the best clothes, you can lift the flap to see if you were right! With repetitive and rhyming text, along with sweet and playful illustrations, this simple book could become a family favorite!

Your turn:  Have you read any of these books with your little ones?  Feel free to let me know in the comments.

Books for Adults

What I’m Reading (in June 2015)

I’m in Houston, TX this week for a training course for work, but I wanted to write a quick post to let you know a book I started reading Sunday while on the plane.

This book has been on my list of books to read so I’m happy I’m finally getting around to it.  It has over 5,800 5 star reviews from others on Amazon so I’m looking forward to see if my rating will be 5 stars as well.  I will say that so far I honestly can’t put this book down so it looks like it will be a winner!

I’ll be back next week with a new list of books I’ll be reading to the kids in June as well as Father’s Day book suggestions and the June newsletter.

Status: Finished

Me Before You by JoJo Moyes

Me Before You brings to life two people who couldn’t have less in common—a heartbreakingly romantic novel that asks, What do you do when making the person you love happy also means breaking your own heart?  Read my review of this book here.

Status: Finished

The Traveler’s Gift: Seven Decisions that Determine Personal Success
by Andy Andrews

I loved the book The Noticer by Andy Andrews so much that I just had to add this book to my to-read list.  (Check out my post from February 2015)  I have heard nothing but good things about this book so I’m excited to dig in!  If you’re into Podcasts, Andy also has a wonderful podcast you may want to check out.

Your turn:  Have you read either of these books before?  If so, feel free to let me know your thoughts in the comments.

Books for Adults

What I’m Reading (in May 2015)

Below are the two books I plan to read this month.  What books do you have in your queue for the month of May?  Feel free to let me know in the comments.

Design Mom: How to Live With Kids A Room-By-Room Guide by Gabrielle Stanley Blair

Status: Finished


In this book Gabrielle Stanley Blair offers a room-by-room guide to keeping things sane, organized, creative, and stylish. She provides advice on getting the most out of even the smallest spaces; simple fixes that make it easy for little ones to help out around the house; ingenious storage solutions for the never-ending stream of kid stuff; rainy-day DIY projects; and much, much more.
Time Management Magic: How To Get More Done Every Day And Move From Surviving To Thriving by Lee Cockerell

Status: Finished

Executive Time Management Secrets from a Life at Disney… During Lee Cockerell’s career at Disney as the Senior Operating Executive of Walt Disney World Resort, he led a team of 40,000 Cast Members (employees) and was responsible for the operations of 20 resort hotels, 4 theme parks, 2 water parks and the ESPN Sports Complex. As you can imagine, Lee had to become a time management expert, first as a means of survival and then as a way to help others make the best use of their time. The time management secrets he developed have become one of his most requested corporate training lectures and are now available to you in this tell–all book.
Books for Adults

What I’m Reading (in April 2015)

Below are the two books I’m reading for the month of April.  I started reading another book, but didn’t like it so I picked up Gretchen Rubin’s latest book instead.  I’d love to hear what book(s) you’re reading this month.  Let me know in the comments if you care to share.

~Happy Reading!

Status: Finished

I read Gretchen’s other book, The Happiness Project years ago and loved it!  I’m hoping this book will be just as good if not better.  It’s supposed to answer the question, “How do we change our habits?”French Kids Eat Everything by Karen Le Billon

Status: Finished
As the cover of the book states, Karen Le Billon and her husband moved their family from North America to France where they “cured” picky eating, quit giving their kids snacks, and started living by 10 simple rules that eventually taught her kids to be happy eaters who eat healthy food.
Books for Adults

Sneak Peek: My April Book Selection


Are your kids picky eaters?  My kids are both very good eaters for the most part.  However, as they’re getting older I’m noticing they are becoming picky sometimes.  There have even been times when they gripe about the foods I put on their plates. Sometimes their likes change… mid-bite.  Don’t you hate it when they spit out their food?

While searching online about ways to deal with picky kids I came across this gem that I’ll be reading in April: French Kids Eat Everything by Karen Le Billion.  I’ve heard people sing its praises, and it’s been one of those books on my “to-read” list since last summer. Let me tell you a bit about it.

As the cover of the book states, Karen Le Billon and her husband moved their family from North America to France where they “cured” picky eating, quit giving their kids snacks, and started living by 10 simple rules that eventually taught her kids to be happy eaters who eat healthy food.

Over the course of the book French Kids Eat Everything, Karen shares her experience as well as the 10 rules she has adopted for her family that made her kids go from picky to happy, healthy eaters. Some of these rules are French food rules and some are French parenting styles. No matter, I’m sure there’s plenty of wisdom for us American parents in this book. I personally can’t wait to read it!

And just for the record, this book isn’t all advice and information. There are recipes scattered throughout. Another thing I’m looking forward to trying… French recipes!  I love France and hope to visit there…someday.

So do you have picky kids? Are you tired of struggling? Do you want to cut snacks out of your kids’ diet?  If so, this book may offer you some help, and I’m inviting you to join me in reading it too so we can find some nuggets of wisdom together!

Happy Reading!